How do I use it all, you ask?
Let me count the ways...
1. Dishwasher. Baking soda softens water, so your detergent works better. I put a scant 1/4 cup into each load. Pro tip: sprinkle on the dishes, rather than in the bottom, where it will just get sucked out with the collected water before the wash cycle starts.
2. Washing Machine. Same as above- it softens water and helps detergent clean the clothes better. A heaping 1/4 cup is good for a full load of clothes. It also helps remove smells from clothes. Whenever I strip my towels (every 5th or 6th wash, I add a couple cups of white vinegar to the wash, let them soak then rinse and spin) I was the second time with extra baking soda to remove the vinegar smell. Same with bleached clothes.
3. Face Scrub. (do not use on your face if you have sensitive skin) This is a wonderful gentle scrub that I like to do in the shower a couple times a week. I use it along with coconut oil (another post coming on that wonder product) and I have soft, smooth skin.
4. Body Scrub. I like to add this to my body wash to gently scrub my whole body. It makes my skin so soft and is all natural.
5. Scalp scrub. Once a week, I add a bit to my shampoo and scrub my scalp. It helps remove oils (I do not wash my hair daily any more) and if you have hard water and your shampoo won't lather, baking soda will help. It can also help reduce the amount of shampoo you use. Be sure to very thoroughly rinse your hair.
6. Tub Scrub. Sinks too- this is a very inexpensive gentle cleanser that will help remove the toughest soap scum. Sprinkle it in the wet tub or sink and rub gently.
7. Freezer deodorizer. Put a small open box in the freezer to capture freezer smells. Works in fridge, too.
8. Carpet deodorizer. Sprinkle generously on your carpet and let sit for an hour or so. Vacuum as normal and your carpet will smell fresh. Great if you have pets. Just be sure carpet is dry, and the pets are off of it while it sits.
9. Mattress deodorizer. When you change sheets and mattress pad, sprinkle your mattress with a little baking soda, then let it sit for an hour. Vacuum off.
10. Removes burnt on food. Did you burn something in a pan on the stove? It happens to all of us. Is it something you think will NEVER come off? Simply put a couple inches of water in the pan and a tablespoon of baking soda. Put on low heat for about 10-15 minutes then turn off heat and let it sit for a couple hours. Your burnt on mess should easily scrub out. If not, repeat the process.
11. Keep drains smelling fresh. If you are going on a vacation, before you leave, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda in your drain and just let it sit while you are gone. It will keep odors at bay. This works well with sinks you do not use often, also, like in a garage or mud room or garden shed.
12. Leavening for baked goods (non yeast baked goods) You will see baking soda in a lot of recipes but if you add a bit of acid (vinegar or lemon juice) it will help leaven or rise the baked good even more. The acid and the soda react to create gas and this rises the quick breads or pancakes to a really fluffy new height!
13. Detox Soak. When you have a cold, add some to a hot bath along with ground ginger and Epsom salts. Soak for 20 minutes. Be sure to drink water before you get in, while you are soaking and right after you get out. Also- stand up slowly from your soak.
14. Soften skin. Add just baking soda to your warm relaxing bath and your skin will thank you for it.
15. Hand washing dishes. Add a sprinkle to the water and half as much Dawn and your dishes will come out sparkling!!
16. Oven cleaner. Make a paste with water and spread on your oven. Let sit then scrub. Be sure to rinse well when you are done.
Do you have any other uses for baking soda? Drop them in the comments below!